As the World Cup trophy arrived in China this week on a global exhibition circuit, sentiment is high in the country for the economic and sports power to bid for the 2018 World Cup.A report from Sports Sina, China's leading online sports media, has confirmed the country's resolution to bid for the 2018 World Cup, citing sources inside the CFA (Chinese Football Association). "This is China's maiden involvement in bidding for the World Cup, and the CFA is making active preparations," read the report, adding, "China is very likely to win out in the competition if all factors are taken into consideration."
The report drew wide attention in a nation that craves for football success despite a long list of flops in international tournaments. "China's decision to bid comes from three aspects: support from FIFA chairman Sepp Blatter; support from China's top sports administration; and the experience the country will gain after the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games," the report continued.
However, a contradictory report appeared the same day on the same site, cooling off the flaring-up sentiment by citing a top CFA official.
"I have yet to hear of this (bidding for the tournament). The decision to bid for the World Cup is not something someone inside FA could make," said Nan Yong, vice president of the CFA. "It is up to China's sports administration or even higher up in the government."
FIFA president Sepp Blatter has thrown his support behind China hosting the soccer World Cup after the country successfully hosted the Asian Cup in 2004.
But Blatter added: "Since FIFA has ruled in 2002 that the World Cup will be rotated among the six continents, it will be a while before China could stage the World Cup."
FIFA officials have suggested that China's growth as an economic super power makes the country a firm favorite to stage the next World Cup to be held in Asia, probably in 2018.